Friday, December 5, 2014

Free Shipping For USA customers!!!!


I'm offering free shipping within the United States through Christmas!  Ive been up to my eyeballs in private custom projects and don't have a lot of new things in my Etsy shop yet, but maybe free shipping will help you out if you have been on the fence about investing in one of those adorable vests or slip dresses!  I don't really do the Christmas retail thing. The stress is not pretty. I cant handle the buyer's remorse and the trouble that this causes me. And it ONLY happens at this time of the year. I would love you to buy me out, but I cant do all that pressure thing. Its ugly. Use discount code FREESHIPPING at checkout when you make your purchase!! Its always lovely to know you are wearing my creations!
































What have I been up to?? I was commissioned to make a pretty little Alice in Wonderland dress for a sweet young thing who always has to wear costumes on stage that are falling apart. Chris March sent me the lovely baby blue moire taffeta and the ideas and I whipped her up a cute little ensemble. He provided her with the apron, petticoat, shoes, and stockings. Lucky, lucky lady! I hear she is over the moon!

Ive been making a couple corsets and doing lots of alterations and vintage repair. Hand beading, moving and replacing zippers on delicate fabrics. The things that I really enjoy doing...........I am a total clothing doctor, no doubt. I need a doctor's bag and a smock!

But I indeed did make myself a bit of a linen smock dress, actually. I am so in love with the linen right now. Total love affair going on! So easy to throw on and not be too hot or cold.  Its perfect to meet clients in or go fabric shopping. I just love it more than ever!
Ive been making a new robe for Joan Crawford to wear in Christmas With The Crawfords. Go see it if you are in the NYC area this holiday season! I made the little blouses in this flyer. LOL
And now I am working on making new merchandise and a fashion show for ATS Homecoming in January. More to be announced about that soon. Oh - so much more to be announced...........

Whew.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Let It Go

Guess what I got to make.......... Elsa, I'm afraid!  But it was fun. My son finally decided to dress up with Ivy this year, so I, of course, was happy to throw something together for them.  It was pretty easy as the Halloween stores have everything you could possibly need for just about anything. Wigs, gloves, shoes.....why reinvent the wheel........but I had to make her a sparkly dress.  She loved her costume, and Haydn got into the spirit by playing Kristof. I'm glad he let me renew our old tradition of making him something to wear. :) He's such a good daddy. And a good sport!




































































And while they were out trick-or-treating, I reached into my closet, threw on a wig, and headed out to Old Town Napa to go door to door with cocktails in hand with my sister and niece, and all the other parents. We screamed and serenaded all the little Elsa's with Let It Go..... I never saw such droves of Halloween children and adults in all my born days! Such a wonderful community effort that I knew nothing about! Just like the old days............or what I imagined them to be at any rate!! Hope yours was spooky and fun too!


Monday, October 13, 2014

The Pressure Is On






















Winter is fast approaching and as I pull out my cold weather coats and clothing, I am reminded of all the designs that I am furiously trying to get patterned, sampled,  and made up into wearable clothing! Some of you may or may not know, but I have teamed up with  Carolena E Nericcio-Bohlman of FatChanceBellyDance to sustainably produce clothing that looks amazing on everyone and that we, ourselves would like to wear!  We call this the Bessie Line - named after Carolena's  mother, and my favorite name for dependable vehicles and sewing machines.............a pretty and vintage sounding  name that speaks for our line of clothing! We have so many ideas that stem from what we personally want to be wearing - things we cant find in the stores - inspiration from the dance world, history, other cultures, our busy lifestyles and the need for quality garments to enhance our bodies and wardrobes! And what better way to show you how awesome these designs look on a real body than to wear them for you to see! Right now - today - I am finishing up specs for the Bessie Vest so that this first run can go online HERE!!!!!

And here is Carolena, in the middle ,wearing her Bessie Vest! And also in this photo are Terri Allred on the left and Yours Truly on the Right - all of us wearing our Bessie Skirts. All shapes and sizes looking great! :)




















The Bessie Vest is such a great piece. It works with the Bessie Skirt in mind, yet will coordinate with just about any woman's wardrobe. Every design that we have been working on comes from a place of necessity and function. Every design strives to be elegant and work within one's wardrobe. Would we both wear it is always the question.

While we do our best to keep costs down, our pieces are not designed for mass production in mind, and the prices will reflect being locally made *hopefully* at a living wage for all involved in production. We are going back to good old fashioned ethics. You know the ones......if you cant afford it and want it, you save up for it - and take care of and treasure it. Maybe you would wear more of a few well made, well thought out garments and create a signature look for yourself. You take those basics to build a wardrobe that will last a while and embellish it with the tidbits from the cheaper garment outlets. We ALL love the cheaper clothing outlets - yet we have created an environmental and unsustainable toxic monster with our rampant importation of throw away clothing made overseas for pennies on the dollar. We are paying for this practice dearly. Now is the time to start purchasing more thoughtfully!

I am always hunting for reasonably priced fabrics to make comfortable and stylish clothing ! This can be simply exhausting these days - and I mainly want to be focusing on making things!!! So we are going to have basic designs in small runs for now. Fabrics will change to keep things fresh. The line will grow and evolve as time, budgets, and tastes, allow. Prices will reflect originality, versatility, elegance, quality, and sustainability!

Many new and exciting events and happenings are on the horizon! 2015 is going to be a life -changing year for many of us!! Stay Tuned!!!!!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Just In Time For Autumn
































 
I had to grab this fabric when I saw it - total love at first sight! It put me right into the holiday spirit! Perfect for Halloween and the Autumn season (although I would wear this all year round - OF COURSE!!)

Bias cut slip dresses: sweet, frothy, and sexy! Perfect with some awesome shoes and a little bolero for Indian summer nights, or layered with a tshirt and pants or a skirt - use your imagination and play with your personal style!

 Created with  vintage detail and styling - yet with a modern edge: Ive made a very limited run - one in each size from Small to Extra Large, so email me with questions or convo me on Etsy! Bias cut clothing draped dramatically on the body in a way that clothing cut on the grain cannot do!!

Go HERE to do some shopping!! X


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Christmas With The Crawfords





















 Once upon a time, a long time ago, back in the 1990's, I was commissioned to make a long silver evening gown for a fun little holiday show in San Francisco called Christmas With The Crawfords. My friend Chris March was in the show and I was hired  to make a bunch of the costumes that he designed. I love working with Chris - we just click - I get what he's trying to tell me, and I understand the scale of oversize that he is famous for. I pretty much discovered this while working on the show with him back in those days. We worked together at the famous Beach Blanket Babylon,  hit it off right away, and he has been throwing fun work at me ever since. I also get a bit of leeway with design if this is appropriate and it always works out.

So I got the call with "do you still have that Joan Crawford evening gown pattern that you made?" Well...............I actually, miraculously  had part of it. And the rest was from memory and about 2 measurements. Really. My height - a guess at a bust and waist from former projects - and it had to be fitted. With super stretchy  fabric. Oh my.

But it turned out perfect as you can see. This is Joey Arias as Joan Crawford for the upcoming show. Perfectly stunning as stunning can be. As always.



































Go see the show if you are in or around NYC this holiday season! You will laugh and be charmed!!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tasha


Tasha was married on the coast with her little dog in the wedding party.

 Her five piece steampunk inspired ensemble was made of silk, dyed, distressed, and over dyed laces and tulle. Her silk dupioni over skirt was bustled up in three layers to be held out by the poufy ruffled petticoat. She wore a two-toned matching silk  corset with silver buckles and grommets at the hips and shoulders. The corset and skirt was piped in matching silk. Underneath it all, she was wearing my Fluffie Rufflie bloomers in dyed dove grey lace and cotton! We worked very hard to get this right because those perfect greens and greys were proving very hard to find in the right fabrics. The Peridot green came in from Thai Silks the wrong color (which may have been my fault -be careful with those color numbers when ordering!) but they graciously took it back and sent the right stuff. I made the groom a matching waistcoat and then over her dress, Tasha wore a dark green kinsale cloak from the Folkwear line that I made with silk/rayon velvet.
 She looked like she had stepped into some kind of time travel vortex when it was all put together. A beautiful bride, a beautiful wedding, a beautiful project!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Where Did Summer Go.............


I was fortunate enough to be hired by Chris March Design this season to make some SF Pride Costumes for the Anheuser Busch float!
This was a big rush job, and had to be started with no models having been hired yet. Not a job for the feint of heart.  We figured that we knew who the drag queens would be up on the float, so I could go with somewhat of a guess and make it work.  I wasn't so sure who would be hired to walk along the float, so it was "specifically suggested" that the company hire with a particular waist measurement in mind.  And of course, that didn't happen.  To be fair - that's not always so realistic within a small time frame.  And in typical train wreck style, not having anything to do with Chris or I, costumes were designated at the last minute to the wrong people. This is just how it  usually works when you have all these corporate departments trying to do too many things at the last minute.  And yet, somehow, it always gets done.  The pros amongst us (thank you, Matthew James who made that fun jewelry! ) just rolled our eyes and did the "of course this is happening........." stance.  Then we got our kits out and went to work.  We pinned, sewed, glued and lined where the sequins chaffed.  Everyone did their thing and did it well.  We did it quick.  And our work made it to the annals of Time .com's "Gay Prides From Around The World"

      
                                                                               *curtsy*.

Models: Pollo Del Mar
             LeMay
             Darcy Drollinger

Other credits will be given  when I find more names! Feel free to contact if you have credit info!!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

SPRING SALE!!!



































Hi Everyone! Im having a little Spring Sale in my Etsy Shop! You can have 15% off of anything listed in the store until Wednesday the 11th!

Let me know if you dont see your size! I might POSSIBLY have something in stock that isnt listed. Esp. the Sampants - sometimes I forget to relist when one sells!

Just use this discount coupon code at checkout:  15PERCENTOFFYAY

I Have A New Helper


.......................................................................Meet Maizy.

She was born on March 30th, likes to perch on storage things and clothing racks, attack my legs, play with tape measures, pounce on frothy fabric, nap in the sun, and entertain my clients. Currently we are making lots of new garment bags to put all the things in and away from kitten claws. And we have a huge time-out cage for when I need to work. I said I wouldn't do this again for a long while...............but I couldnt resist the face............

Catching My Breath

The last two months have been a whirlwind of wedding dresses, small production, and festival vending. And now that those particular projects are done and Ive caught my breath, I can focus on all the bridal and vintage alterations that are on my dress rack. But I had a few days to tend to my garden, play with my new kitten, and clean up my messy studio. As soon as the chaos is cleared, the shelves dusted, and the floors vacuumed and mopped, Im always able to launch back into the next project......which is a few cute, simple little costumes for a major beer company who need flyers and promo handed out during Pride. I cant believe its June already!!!!!!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Bessie Has Been Launched!

































The Bessie Skirt - "Kathleen Crowley for FatChanceBellyDance®" - is now exclusively available online through the FatChanceBellyDance®  website! Regular and Petite sizes are available with a handy size chart to compare your measurements to! GET IT HERE!

I have been living in this skirt. It is easy to do just that. Its my go-to skirt for many occasions - or to simply go to the grocery store. You can wear it so many ways! I love being able to wear it with my torso covered and be able to wear it rolled down as well. When I was up in Seattle last weekend, for Cues And Tattoos and to visit my family, I just hiked this baby up in quite a few interesting ways to keep if off the wet ground. I didn't design it specifically for dancers, but as you can see, dancers are kind of my life - so you will usually see my work on dancers. But they look awesome on everyone - so go visit the website and get one of your very own! If you don't see your size, contact them and we will see what we can do for you - one size does not fit all and we understand that! And who knows.........maybe you will be inspired to get into belly dance!

































Carolena Nericcio - Bohlman, founder and director of FatChanceBellyDance® has written a wonderful post on body image and the story of how this Bessie Skirt came to be. Read It Here!! I could not have written it better.

Other colors and variations of this skirt will be available soon - we started with black because black is what we all can wear - but other colors are coming! So stay tuned as we work our magick and bring you more elegant, fun, and wearable styles of clothing that you will surely love and wear for a long time!!!
Models in order of appearance:
Wendy Allen
Anita Lalwani
Kae Montgomery

Awesome Photography:
Sean Vallely (BlueFortySeven)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Karen's New Orleans Wedding


































Karen, my last bridal client,  was just married only a week ago in a wonderful escapade through New Orleans!
They looked like they were having so much fun as they romped through graveyards and picturesque settings!
Hats off to the photographer who followed them around! I heard that everyone had a great time!
















There were textures and layers and lots of silk for a beautiful Steampunk themed wedding! (there is our friend Kimberly on the left who introduced Karen and I - and has some fun pieces that Ive created!)

I built Karen a custom corset and matching bustle made of forest green silk. The corset had a contrast of a lighter green printed with Fleur-de-lys We also added covered buttons along the corset front and pocket. I made sweet little handmade flowers in green, white, and purple to embellish the bustle. And then I used the contrasting green as leaves to go with the flowers.




















Under her bustle was a a skirt made of several layers of silk Dupioni in varying shades of ivory. And interspersed with the layers of silk, we added different fabrics of metallic gold and ivory.

We made the bustle and the underskirt detachable so that she could wear these things with other garments - which she did as she explored the city the next day.

She was so nice to work with - such a lovely person - It made me very  happy to see how she was beaming on her wedding day. Congratulations to Karen, Brian and and their family!












Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Formal Introduction Of The Bessie Skirt!


















 The Bessie Skirt! A skirt that looks amazing on all shapes and sizes! I don't think that its possible for anyone to look bad in this garment. I'm serious. They are designed to accent a woman's curves. Its that dip under the bum that makes it work on everyone! I know this sounds funny, but you just cant help walking around like a sexy siren in these things! One woman told me this weekend that she got a date the first time she wore it out. The words elegant, fun, sexy, powerful, and dynamic all apply to this skirt. Lots of loops and buttons give you numerous ways to make this design work for you for almost any occasion!

Last year, I was experimenting with this concept of a skirt that flattered everyone. I found that great weight of cotton lycra that holds its shape and has some body to it. I played around with buttons and loops for additional looks. I played with lengths. And then one day, Carolena Nericcio - Bohlman of FatChanceBellyDance, Inc, started telling me about this concept of a skirt that she had been dreaming of - and I showed her the one that I had been working on - and that was that. Magic! So between the two of us, we improved upon this design and named it after her mother, Bessie. And you know.......Ive always had a car named Bessie........Bessie s are good......the name Bessie stands for charm, dependability,  elegance, and a good friend! Its a win. So these skirts are available at the FatChanceBellyDance studio in San Francisco. They will be online soon, but until then, you can order one by  emailing them through their website at fcbd.com or popping into the studio if you are in town. Sizes are available in XS, S, M, L, XL - and in Petite sizes as well!!  I know these sizes don't cover everyone - so feel free to message me if you are hard to fit - or just tall like me!

I'll have other colors to offer soon, but we're doing basic black for the time being. Because black rocks. It goes with everything and everyone looks good in it!

I was just vending in Seattle at Cues and Tattoos - and these skirts flew out the door! I was basically living in mine. They are great for travel! They are great for dancing/performing in! They are great for going grocery shopping! All three of these activities were done in the Bessie Skirt! Get Yours Now!

The lovely ladies modeling these Bessie Skirts are from left to right:
Kae Montgomery
Carolena Nericcio
Wendy Allen
Anita Lalwani

Monday, March 10, 2014

Cues & Tattoos 2014!

I
I'll be bringing some fun things for you to try on at Cues and Tattoos in Seattle at the end of this month!
I'll be vending with Carolena Nericcio at the FatChanceBellyDance booth! Come check out our new Bessie Skirt  and new vest - You had better grab one fast because I have a feeling they will be flying off the racks!

The Cues and Tattoos Marketplace @ The Seattle Center Armory will be open:
Friday, March 28th:
12:00-5:00pm
Saturday, March 29th:
11:00am-9:30pm
Sunday, March 30th:
11:00am-4:00pm


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Evidentally, I Am The Wolf


















 A dear friend of mine is calling me "The Wolf."

I just thought this was the funniest thing, but then when I thought about it, its kind of true.

 In Pulp Fiction, The Wolf is played by Harvey Keitel. In this small part, he  is the gruff older dude who was consulted to solve the problems.......because he was experienced and knew how to get stuff cleaned up....and he was impatient with the guys who didn't know how to clean up their messes.  And now I'm starting to call myself that too. Because its funny. And kind of true at times.

 I cant tell you how often over the years that I have been sent projects that costumers don't want to work on or they found themselves in a bind, and my help was called for. There is a certain amount of trust needed there, and I was usually happy to help out until I realized that they needed to learn this stuff on their own. This is how we learn.  And you don't learn this stuff overnight. Every project is going to bring a new set of challenges if you have not done that particular project several times before. Much of costuming is about problem solving. And we learn from our mistakes and experiences, both good and bad.. So I generally prefer to get my own clients and do my own thing these days unless I'm getting paid to teach and to consult.

Kendra Katz brought this teal, slinky fabric to me because she wanted a draped skirt to take to Russia on her current world tour with Mira Betz.. It was a rush job and had to be a group effort at that point, so having had plenty of experience with slinky fabrics, I knew what to do. And it made sense to send it to me. Nobody wanted to touch it, there wasn't time to problem solve and learn about it, and Ive worked with slinkys a lot.

































 I worked with Kendra on some sketches and draped this lingerie fabric on my dress form until we got the look fairly correct. I basted and pinned and copied the design out onto paper. I cut the fabric out and re-draped it on the dress form. And then of course, when it was sewn up and tried on, it wasn't quite right because she actually has curves like a real woman - unlike the dress form, so we had to tweak it a bit to make it do what she wanted it to do on her body. But with a little work, it was a fun project and looked awesome on her, as you can see in the photos. They came to The Wolf (LOL) and that was the right decision. It all turned out real pretty on this lovely lady!


































.Belt by Medina Maitreya, bra base by Dusty Paik, bra embellishments by Medina Maitreya and Marci Ann. I had the medallion for part of the belt closure - it was a great collaborative effort................there are a lot of really excellent costumers here in the San Francisco Bay Area!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Happy New Year!























I was very happy to see 2013 go away. It ended with a fast recovery from a long overdue foot surgery. And while I was super stoked to get this done, it also set me back. Being a self employed maker person, I always fall through the cracks for any kind of aid................so I got through it with the help of friends and family. I don't know how I could have pulled this off otherwise. 

And since I really had no time to be off my feet or luxuriate in self nurturing, I babied myself at first when I had no choice but to do so, and then went to work to push myself as much as humanly possible every single day. Doctor Chan was happy with the results of his surgery and was very please at my rate of recovery. He said it was above normal. Whew. So once I was on the mend, I had to work. And the race has been on ever since. I still have to put my feet up now and then, but I'm getting stuff done. And I have renewed energy and drive.

Ive got two wedding dresses in the works, some costuming, and mockups for a line of clothing that I am collaborating on with Carolena Nericcio of FatChanceBellyDance, Inc... Patterning  is not my passion, but Ive got to do it myself right now. Its slow going, but every day I do something - anything with the patterns. Its all coming along. This is the Bessie skirt. More info and great photos will be coming soon. Its a good product. A good design. A good project. This is not the best picture, but they are amazing on a real body. This waist part can be folded over and it is both versatile and flattering. They are being sold at the FatChanceBellyDance studio - you can call the studio and order, or go in and try one on - you wont be sorry! (call first, though!) 415-431-4322. fcbd@fcbd.com

































I'm also doing some experimenting with a fellow designer here in town. We're playing around with the refurbishing of hoodies. Not a new concept. But a fun one. We'll soon see what we can come up with and if its even worth our time. But if nothing else, Im getting some new ideas...............and we'll each have a new hoodie!





















There are other things like this going on. You never know what project is going to be a hit or a miss. But it hones the skills and keeps me on my toes. Already I am far busier than I was at this time last year. It looks like we are all working on climbing up out of that rabbit hole  - very Alice In Wonderland like.

But you know............the phoenix thing.............we cant be stopped.